Hampshire keep Worcestershire at bay
The bottom two teams in LV= County Championship Division One had to settle for a draw after a rain-ruined fourth day at the Rose Bowl.
While that represented a reprieve for bottom-placed Hampshire, the result did them no favours in their bid to avoid relegation.
With three matches remaining, they are 22 points adrift of opponents Worcestershire, who moved above Yorkshire and out of the bottom two as a result of collecting seven points from their trip to the south coast.
When rain relented on the fourth day, Hampshire resumed their second innings in deep trouble on 84 for six, only 59 ahead.
Worcestershire had 26 overs in which to finish off the Hampshire innings and then get the runs they required for their fourth win of the season.
But they reckoned without Hampshire’s seventh-wicket pairing of Chris Wood and Dimitri Mascarenhas.
The former launched a ferocious attack on the Worcestershire bowling when play finally got under way in bright sunshine, racing from five overnight to a 37-ball half-century, his first in county cricket.
Wood, whose previous highest score was 35, went on to make an unbeaten 56 from 42 balls with seven fours, while Mascarenhas was content to play a more defensive role as the initiative slipped from Worcestershire’s grasp.
They put on 79, of which 73 came in the 12 overs Worcestershire bowled today.
It was then that Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell shook hands on a draw, since 14 overs remained and Hampshire led by 132.
Mascarenhas was 25 not out at the close, with Hampshire having averted their sixth defeat of the season by reaching 157 for six.
However, they collected only six points from a match they needed to win to stand any real prospect of avoiding the drop.